Despite Higher Interest Rates, Mortgage Application Volume Increases This Week

December 21, 2016

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has risen sharply since early November, now standing at 4.41 percent. Homebuyers and owners are beginning to adjust.

CNBC reports that seasonally adjusted mortgage application volume rose 2.5 percent from last week to this week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The total volume is still 11 percent lower than the same week one year ago, though.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3 percent for the week. Purchase volume is a little more than 1 percent higher than the same week in 2015.

As rates rise, however, the bulk of the buying is by wealthier Americans who may be trading up from their current home and using gains from that sale. First-time buyers, who have little to put down and less ability to adapt to higher monthly payments, are being sidelined once again due to rising rates.

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